Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee to Col. Thomas J. Jackson to Prepare for Federal Assault on Harper’s Ferry

23 11 2020

CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN MARYLAND, PENNSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA, AND WEST VIRGINIA FROM APRIL 16 TO JULY 31, 1861

CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. – CONFEDERATE

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 806-807

Headquarters Virginia Forces, Richmond, Va., May 6,1861.

Col. T. J. Jackson,
Commanding Volunteers, Harper’s Ferry, Va.:

Colonel: I consider it probable that the Government at Washington will make a movement against Harper’s Ferry, and occupy the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad with that view, or use the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal for the transportation of troops. You are desired to watch these avenues of approach, and endeavor to frustrate their designs. On receiving certain intelligence of the approach of troops it will become necessary to destroy the bridge at Harper’s Ferry and obstruct their passage by the canal as much as possible. You might make some confidential arrangements with persons in Maryland to destroy the Monocacy railroad bridge and draw the water out of the canal, should there be assurances of the enemy’s attempt to make use of either.

You are authorized to offer the payment of $5 for each musket that may be returned of those taken possession of by the people in and about Harper’s Ferry.

It is advisable that you establish some troops at Martinsburg, or other more advantageous point, if your force will permit. I desire that you will report the amount of your present force and the number of volunteers that will probably respond to the call of the governor from the counties indicated in his proclamation.

Respectfully, &c.,

R. E. LEE,
Major- General, Commanding.


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